Wasaga Beach Ratepayers Association asked members to provide their views on the upcoming May long weekend. These are the comments and suggestions they sent us. Names have been removed for privacy. A copy was sent to Mayor Bifolchi for consideration with respect to the upcoming May long weekend.


With talk of relaxing some of the federal, provincial and municipal protocols put in place to try and control the COVID-19 pandemic we are interested in your views on this topic.

Should we be opening our doors wider to welcome visitors this May long weekend?

Should our struggling businesses be allowed to open, with some health restrictions in place?

Should we be closing all our public parking lots, or should we have free parking for all?

Should our Accommodation businesses be allowed to open, again with some restrictions?


I believe we can ease restrictions on all small businesses providing there is good hygiene promoted and practiced. We need to get this town up and running again. Sunshine is the answer and fresh air for all. We are a seasonal driven community, so let us get back to normal before the place becomes a ghost town. Open the beaches, bars, and restaurants, hardware, groceries, everything. Using good sense and respect we can get over this problem w/o making things even worse. Time to gitter' done.

(Recently) I opened my business which means I didn't qualify for the financial aid for businesses. I believe we should be allowed to re-open with some health restrictions in place.
Which is in our industry we have been taking all the consideration and restriction what comes to our client’s safety and ours. With our present situation we will be more and beyond to make sure we stay safe so our clients as well.
And I will limit the number of clients that enter at a time in (my business). (My business) is small and I only have one entrance, I truly believe I can keep up with the protocol.
From my understanding (COVID19) the virus is everywhere and on everything if we are home or outside or working, to be able to fight the (COVID19) virus we need to learn how to work with it and against it. Our isolation is not going to teach us anything. If we are open now or later, we need to follow the restrictions.
Limit number of clients.
We follow the protocol.
Disinfect, Mask, gloves, signs, hand sanitizer, wipes, ETC .

We believe that any early openings should be a provincial decision as they have access to all the health facts and any early openings would jeopardize the hard work already done to stop the spread of Covid-19.

In response to questions posed, I am one of the very lucky ones who can afford to say lock her up, but instead I think the Beach and businesses should start reopening with the public interests and their own safety at heart.
People will come and we should all be prepared. Businesses who want to survive can, with creative solutions, be ready to receive them.
It is however hoped that each business owner will have a high volume of supply of masks, gloves, hand wipes and sanctioned cleaning supplies for all employees and any visitors who may ask for same while in said business.
In my opinion, the Mayor should be assisting our business owners in getting ready and become the supply leader in obtaining critical ppe for businesses and in creating a system that tracks COVID related infections commencing immediately, ie., rise in infections related to opening up, tourists vs residents vs seasonal.
A leadership role is critical during this unprecedented and ongoing event and as a resident I am sad that I have seen none.
Thank you for this opportunity!

The opinion of most seniors and young citizens that I have been in contact with are hoping the town of Wasaga will do the right thing???
Keeping the beaches closed.
Cottagers stay in your cottages and practice distances, like we have been doing
Put more people like police on the 5 entrances to the beach.
The golf courses are going to be opened and nurseries, etc. etc.
But the thousands of people coming from the large cities and small
Present a great danger of spreading the corona into our dear town of Wasaga.
We don’t have a hospital
Not even a clinic
Not enough masks
And testing to put all the citizens old or young in danger
The businesses
Are suffering and so is every person and the whole world.
So let's be safe and grateful we are still alive.
The visitors have homes and a place to live outside of wasaga.
These are permanent residences for all of us.
Nowhere to go
Keep our homes and citizens safe
Worry about the economy when its’ safer
Look at the anger you would be putting the citizens in
This town does not have enough people to patrol. The beaches and town under normal circumstances.
Never mind the thousands that are coming
And as little as we go out to get our groceries.
People and families are so anxious to get back to normal.
They are not distancing.
I see it today and other days.
Please money and opening the beaches and parks to soon!!! Won’t give you life. Because it is so contagious.
And death is so final.
And if we hit the second wave
God help us
There have been letters written to Ford about our safety here and all the emails about how worried we are.
Thank you for caring and we are all watching and praying
We are kept safe.
We have not seen our families for months
But that's because we want them safe.

We should not open at all... Its way to early. We are opening right now for the wrong reason.

We all would like to see our businesses reopen but that's a provincial decision. I think closing the beach area parking lots is prudent to discourage illegal use of the beach.

Canadians in general are much more responsive to doing what the government requires for social distancing. I think that the beaches should be opened May 24th, if there is a way to keep people at a distance from each other, with no more than six people to a group. Bars and restaurants should only be open for take -out, serving at the counter, as they do currently at stores with tape keeping people at a six feet distance and no more than a few in the store at a time than.
If this is all impractical, then keep the beaches closed, as so far as I believe(?) our community has been affected very little by Covid 19, other than economically.

If the LCBO is deemed an essential service (which only contributes to more people becoming alcoholics which taxpayers have to support) it is only fair that restaurants also open.....with a common sense approach!
Most business owners are responsible and respectful and they should not be punished and forced into bankruptcy.....
We have to stop treating adults like children and if we choose to behave like children, then there are consequences!

1) No, not yet the curve has not flattened yet, nor has it started downwards. Cottagers have been arriving already against Provincial recommendation to prevent this very thing from happening and increasing the lineups at the food stores etc. has been unbelievable not to mention the empty shelves that have been occurring more and more due to these influx of cottagers, not to mention the huge increase in traffic for this time of year.
2) My answer would be yes to certain necessary businesses opening up asap. Businesses who were considered essential workplaces were not allowed to be open because the Town shut them down anyway. Who's to say the Town Council will follow gov. essential workplaces this time?
3) Free parking for all but that's not happening because they increased the public parking to $ 20.00 per day. and the town really likes spending our money. Plus if parks, beaches and trails golf courses etc. are closed what is the use of opening up parking lots free or not.
4) Again as in #3 Accommodation businesses would be useless to be open if beaches, parks and trails golf courses etc. were closed. There would be nothing for the tourists as well as the residences of Wasaga to do but get into mischief.
I would recommend that the beaches parks and trails be opened first to the residence of Wasaga Beach with proper distancing and a certain number for small family groups and dog walking off road/traffic and back into the trails. This will allow for healthy safe activity that can be monitored by OPP on quads. It will get the people of Wasaga out and see if it can be expanded to the tourist sector after because the kinks will be ironed out with Wasaga Residence then the OPP will be able to handle anything untoward quickly and efficiently with the tourist population. This in turn will allow the Accommodation Business and many other businesses to open up as the tourist population comes into a controlled increase. All the above following all mandated health rules by Fed. and Prov. governments.

Just my thoughts on the May 24 weekend and allowing visitors to Wasaga Beach. It is my view that those that own homes or cottages pay their taxes for their homes. It is nobody's business if they would like to come up and spend time with their families that weekend. If anything, it would be good for business.

Now having said that, I would hope that all would stick to the social distancing regulations and guidelines.

Allowing businesses to open would be good for us all as well. I think our business owners are very responsible and can control the flow clients as well and ensure that government standards are adhered

I do not believe that the one or two day tourists should be allowed to come up though. Our services right now cannot handle them and to enforce would be a disaster on our Towns resources.

In response to your request I would say that no we should not be extending a wider welcome to visitors, we should not open up business, we should not open parks and we should not open accommodations. While the virus has been quite well contained locally, visitors from the GTA are in areas where there are still significant cases that they would potentially bring to the beach. Many of our residents are seniors who are at risk. Only a couple of days ago I was out walking round the sports park where a group of bikers decided to congregate with no regard to physical distancing.
It really is a moot point anyway given that the provincial government has extended all closures until at least May 19, after the long weekend. If anything, the council should be taking steps to ensure the rules are being followed.

My answer to all the questions is basically no. I feel this is too early & we as a town should relook at doing this for July 1st or sooner if we see are big drop in New cases. Who would monitor they stay in groups of no more than 5 & stay 6ft apart? If we open up & we have an increase in cases does Collingwood have the facilities to look after us? We have to take all these situations into consideration. I myself have been following all the rules & if we invite people into our town, tell me why did I bother? I stay safe for my family & the great residence of our town. Is a $ worth a life? I think that is what it comes down to!

Until we get positive declarations that our food, services and supplies have a consistent, clean supply chain to support our permanent residents I feel there should be no daily or part-time residents coming to our community.
I do think the part-timers should get some form of taxes and services relief.
N.B. Provincial Government made the following statement today: “WE ARE AT MILE ONE OF A 26 MILE MARATHON!!!”
N.B. has a better Co-Vidd-19 Record, than the Ontario Government?!
So here in Wasaga, we are operating in a Vacuum. Thank God for the Federal Government, that has provided Small Business a life-Line.
? But what do we do, as a Restaurant in Wasaga, which historically have short shelf-lives??
(Our business) was directed to close Mid-March, and has been closed for 50 days. We have Thousands of $$s of Monthly Overheads, and we need to go farther into debt to remain viable.
? Is it prudent to throw “GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD”!!?? Most of our Local Restaurants depend on the Summer Months to get sufficient Cash Flow to remain open over the rest of the year.
? Will we be able to open (patios) this Summer?
? Will we be able to open (restaurants) this summer? If we are allowed to Re-open, will it be at 25%, 50% capacity, which is not close to profitable for the Critical SUMMER PERIOD ??
? Are any Tourists coming to Wasaga this Summer, as there is NO BEACH!?!?
? How will the Hospitality Businesses cope in Wasaga?
? What will the Hospitality Employees, which is a big portion of Wasaga’s workforce, do to survive?
? Federal Funds run out in June, disposable money for Restaurants will be in short supply?? Can people afford to come out to Restaurants??
So these are just a few of the many questions, concerns, worries, that any Business in Wasaga would have at this time.
We, at (our business) are going to open this Friday/Saturday for Take-Out /Delivery from noon to 7:30.....the following week ( MAY LONG WEEKEND), we will be open from Thursday-Monday??.... Noon to 8:30! We will review our Guest Response, to see where we go from here. We are doing a (BOGO), this Friday/Saturday to provide great value!
Thanks to all our patrons,.... we share your worries and concerns, and monitor daily this very fluid situation. Unfortunately, we have No Control of Events??

Why the town even considers installing the pay parking machines on the 11th is beyond comprehension unless it’s a cash cow for them.
An influx of curious visitors and transients puts a strain on the essential workers like at the supermarkets and it helps to deplete food supplies and it will definitely over crowd any area that is open.

We should be closing & blockading every town parking lot similar to the Provincial Parks. There is nothing here for visitors. There is NO SWIMMING period as the Provincial Pk controls all the water, even the water at the main beachfront. Restaurants are take-out only. Public washrooms will not be open. If there is nowhere to park, they are not going to stay or come back again.

Under present conditions if the Provincial Park stays closed, there are a couple of areas that are going cause major problems.

1/ The town parking lot west of 3Rd st is at the south & open end of Provincial Pk Beach. So, they pay the town parking fee, get out of their cars and walk straight into the Provincial Pk Beach 2 as it is wide open as it is not posted anywhere.
Solution: the town should blockade and close this parking lot as it’s only going to cause lot of confusion.

2/ The town owned Municipal Picnic area parking lot is right smack dab in the middle of Beach 2 Provincial Pk, with Provincial Pk on either side of it.
So, they pay the parking fee and can walk into either side of the Provincial Pk at Beach 2, causing even more confusion.
Solution: the town should close this picnic parking lot down and alleviate the problems.

1) We should NOT be opening our doors wider to welcome visitors this May long weekend.
2) We should NOT be opening our businesses unless the provincial government allows such.
3) We should be closing all public parking lots to coincide with the Ontario Provincial Parks closings.
4) We should NOT allow our Accommodation businesses to open.

I would be demanding along with people from the WBCoC for a seat on this committee including all the councillors leaving the Mayor and Deputy Mayor out of it.
Should we be opening our doors wider to welcome visitors this May long weekend?

Should our struggling businesses be allowed to open, with some health restrictions in place?
Yes, they should but only for take-out or delivery to maintain the status quo for a month and see what happens with medical numbers. Social distancing needs to be observed in any line ups and friends together need to only have one person place the order.
Should we be closing all our public parking lots, or should we have free parking for all?
First thing to do is expropriate all "at present" parking only properties for future revenue for the town. Value to be based on present property values plus 10%. Based on a 1000 vehicle per day average at $20 equals $20k per day which earned over a summer season of 150 days would bring in in excess of $3 million dollars.

Should our Accommodation businesses be allowed to open, again with some restrictions?
Yes, with only current family to be verified by the business who would be subject to fines as well as the renters.

I think we must look for direction from the health leadership of our country and not encourage a DIY solution based on economics. People are more important than $.

I understand how important it is for our Tourist Industry to be open for the May long weekend; it sets the stage for their whole year. My question to you is, "What is more important, our health, or the Tourist Industry in Wasaga Beach?" Opening too early may result in a much longer surge in the Corvid-19 pandemic. The question should not be should we open for the May long weekend, but WHEN IS IT SAFE TO START RE-OPENING OUR COMMUNITY?"
In my humble opinion, it is too early to consider our tourist industry at this time. There are many health care professionals already considering when the phasing in of local economies should begin, and that is where the decision must remain, not in the hands of politicians or businesses. I understand that we cannot leave our local business closed down, but the apparent alternative may be to kill off a few thousand more people to accommodate and early restart of the economy. I think we can all agree that is certainly not the answer.
Under these circumstances, should the May long weekend be a deciding factor in re-opening our local businesses? Best health practices must be the deciding factor. Our family is doing all our shopping in the local area in support of our local businesses, and I applaud the efforts that have been made to ensure the safety of staff and the public. Can our stores manage an influx of shoppers and still maintain a safe shopping experience?
I'm sure that cottagers and tourists would like to be out of the high density city areas, but having them come to the cottage is just an invitation to bring the coronavirus with them, and I'm not sure the supply of products, in our area, is sufficient to meet the demand that would ensue.
I'll leave my comment at that for now, and not get into their right to visit their property.

Thanks for this opportunity to respond to the survey request:
Should we be opening our doors wider to welcome visitors this May long weekend? Should be open however not necessarily wider.

Should our struggling businesses be allowed to open, with some health restrictions in place? Yes

Should we be closing all our public parking lots, or should we have free parking for all? Open the parking lots and beach with social distancing restrictions.

Should our Accommodation businesses be allowed to open, again with some restrictions? Yes

May 2-4 is too early to open.

This will NOT be a typical Summer in Wasaga Beach & we have to get used to it, and that includes the holiday weekend. I see no reason to bar cottage owners from coming up to their cottages, as long as they observe the same rules that they would @ home. The ONLY difference being is that they should bring their groceries up with them, & not overload our 2 grocery stores & subject the local populace to the virus.
In spite of the fact that our provincial gov't has done a terrific job in keeping us all safe, I wish the Premier would ask cottagers to bring up their own groceries & supplies, rather than asking them not to come up, which they will ignore anyway. We have to understand that after being cooped up for the last 6/7 weeks, our cottager friends & tax payers, need to get away, if no other reason, than to relax.
Now as to day trippers, we have seen them already the last few nice weekends. Again, you can't stop them from coming up, but we have to realize their needs also. Whether we like it or not, Wasaga Beach has been & will always be a magnet to the densely populated Southern Ontario, also keeping in mind that the visitors are also an economic boost to our community, so we must be cognizant as to their needs BEFORE they are needed, NOT AFTER. As to local businesses, they should enforce the same rules that they have the last 6 weeks for shopping, if for no other reason, than to remind visitors to bring their own supplies up next time.

As much as I want all our business and residents to prosper there are many concerns.
How can you open it wide to outsiders when permanent residents have to abide all the restrictions and live with all the more or less cumbersome restrictions.
Open it to local people first if it is safe then bring tourists. And if not wait until it is so.
The food supply is reduced and with all restaurants closed we may suffer shortages.
Without hospital in WB and small capacity of regional we may overburden them rapidly in case of outbreak.
If indications will be that conditions are sympathetic to reduce restrictions, do it locally before opening to outside.
Saying that I feel the pain of anyone in any business In WB & anywhere Ontario.
To summarize either it's safe or isn't.
Seasons notwithstanding.

I am in favour of allowing people back to their cottages, campsites and Beaches and businesses to open as long as there are safety measures in place. For the most part adults that I have come in contact with are practicing social distancing and are respectful of others and space around them. With tourism being a big part of our community I would hate to see local people suffer as a result of businesses closing down in our area.

We moved here 3.5 years ago hoping the town was growing the community and improvements to the beach areas were going to be implemented but It seems to be going nowhere!

Yes, let people come to enjoy our community and spend their hard earned tax dollars to keep the community alive.

I don't believe we should be opening our doors even with restrictions at this time. It is still too early.

close down completely. we are probably only a month or two away from winning the battle. why take any risk to the community.

Should we be opening our doors wider to welcome visitors this May long weekend? YES
Should our struggling businesses be allowed to open, with some health restrictions in place? YES
Should we be closing all our public parking lots, or should we have free parking for all? FREE
Should our Accommodation businesses be allowed to open, again with some restrictions? YES

It depends on the town’s intentions, and what it wants to achieve
Our answers will of course be based on our own fears and concerns, being in the age bracket where the virus is more serious, it's obvious our opinions will be different than younger people and people with businesses that are their livelihood.
Need to open ALL local businesses, for the local community at least, and for the business owners who rely on their business for income. The big stores and food stores have been able to carry on with social distancing, pick-up and delivery.
In the early stages, for close quarter stores.......
Wear a mask and gloves, to protect both yourself and others, practise social distancing - restrict customer numbers.
Do we need to invite outsiders from areas with much higher cases - NO not at this early stage of getting back to some normality.
Keep beaches, parks, campsite CLOSED, impossible to social distance, and to police these areas.
Public Parking lots for beaches / parks remain CLOSED, otherwise policing use of the CLOSED beaches would become difficult.
Free parking? not sure why that's needed, if the beaches are closed!!
If stores are open immediately, at the end of May, re-evaluate if there's a need to open the beaches / public parking lots campsites etc.
Step by step.
All of the above is based on consideration of the community as a whole, we will continue to follow our own paths of social distancing, restrict shopping, going into coffee shops and anything to do with avoiding contacting the virus, that's our responsibility.

I feel the May 24th weekend should not be open to people coming up from the city it's way too soon. We are all trying to stay safe and well.
I do understand their paying taxes and can't use their cottage...if they could wait a little longer hopefully the Covid situation will have eased slightly.

Answer to questions
1 let merchants open with precautions
2 no free parking
3 no 10x10 tents on beach or BBQs
4 no cars on beachfront

As a homeowner in Wasaga Beach, I don’t think we should allow cottagers or just visitors at the beach until this pandemic is over. Toronto has a huge outbreak of this pandemic and I don’t think they should be bringing it to the beach as most of the population are seniors.

Should we be opening our doors wider to welcome visitors this May long weekend? Absolutely NOT!

Should our struggling businesses be allowed to open, with some health restrictions in place? Of course!

Should we be closing all our public parking lots, or should we have free parking for all? Free Parking for All Local Residents!

Should our Accommodation businesses be allowed to open, again with some restrictions? Of course!

I believe all who own property and pay taxes should be permitted to come to the Beach. They will most likely maintain social distance and be of little concern. I do not believe casual visitors should come to the Beach. There is no beach available nor maintained. Probably little social distancing would occur. That being said I don’t know how you prevent casual traffic short of road blocks and that’s not happening. Let’s hope we don’t get an influx of more than visitors.

I believe our summer businesses should be allowed to open with some health restrictions, and the parking should be free. The only thing we have going for us to attract tourists is the beach, and not much of it this year, so I think the parking should be free, as we try to encourage tourism.
I believe there will be less tourists in any case, because of the fear that has been implanted in peoples mind, and because of the loss of income a lot of people have experienced because of the lock-down, and may still find themselves unemployed when the lock down is over with businesses that did not survive, and have, or will, claim Bankruptcy.
I understand our Council continued to work during the lock down so they should be aware that we need the tax dollars that tourism brings in.
That is my opinion on the situation.

Should we be opening our doors wider to welcome visitors this May long weekend?
Not sure why anyone would want to visit. There is nothing to attract them to the area. The beach is an absolute mess, beach front stores are closed as are the bars.
Should our struggling businesses be allowed to open, with some health restrictions in place?
Local businesses should be allowed to open and respect physical distance and health restriction.
Should we be closing all our public parking lots, or should we have free parking for all?
Free parking would be a good gesture for those who want to come up.

Should our Accommodation businesses be allowed to open, again with some restrictions?
Could be difficult to adhere to physical distancing and enforcing health restrictions in these facilities. Those that do come up would be younger people who will undoubtedly be boozing and partying.

Our struggling businesses should definitely be allowed to open as long as they follow all of the provincial covid precautionary rules, like all staff should be tested to make sure they are not positive, wearing masks, sanitizing their premises and restricting number of people in the store with proper distancing.

Since the beach is not in good condition and the weather is horrible, I think the parking could be free until June.

The accommodations in our town have a reputation of being substandard, so I am not sure if they could offer a properly sanitized environment. If they were monitored to provide the proper level of safety to their clients, they could open. I think the town should mandate these safety standards. I would think the province already has these standards in place. We need someone to inspect and police them in our town.

Hope this helps. Keep up the good work.